CS Educator Toolkit CS Family Toolkit Community Practice
Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging
CS Education in PA: What and Why
“CS in PA” and “CS For All PA” are often used interchangeably in the discussion of K-12 CS education in Pennsylvania. While short enough to use as social media tags, these two phrases encompass the what and the why for K-12 CS education in the Commonwealth. “CS For All PA” sums up what we’re striving for in K-12 CS education:
Equitable CS education for all students including students of color, historically underrepresented populations, English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities.
“CS in PA” depicts a vision for why equitable K-12 CS education matters:
Equitable CS education ensures all students have the foundational knowledge and skills to pursue a wide variety of pathways beyond their K-12 experience.
Pathways are not limited to 4-year degrees specializing in programming and engineering. Education pathways range from on-the-job training programs to advanced degrees, with jobs available in nearly every field imaginable.2 For more information, explore CS College & Career Pathways.
Working towards CS for all PA
Nationally, 53% high schools offer at least one CS course and 5.6% of all high school students are enrolled in a CS course.3 In Pennsylvania, 87.9% of high school students attend a school that offers foundational CS; however, less than 24% students participate in CS learning.4
Pennsylvania K-12 CS education continues to grow, but large gaps remain.
Efforts to close equity gaps in CS education are happening all across Pennsylvania at the classroom, school/district, community, and broader levels. To support these efforts, Pennsylvania joined the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance
in 2023. The ECEP Alliance is a collective impact alliance “dedicated to increasing equitable capacity for, access to, participation in, and experiences of computing education.”5 The ECEP-PA leadership team is developing plans to build and sustain a K-12 CS education ecosystem in the commonwealth that will systematically identify and address disparities in CS education in Pennsylvania.
This section contains information about the state of K-12 CS education in Pennsylvania and considerations for ensuring CS education is equitable.
Table of contents for subpages:
What is Equity?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) defines equity as “every student having access to the educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment in their education across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, family background and/or family income.”1
Equity, inclusion and belonging in PA
Resources, trainings, and technical assistance related to equitable and inclusive K-12 education
Resources that may be used to promote intentional equity
Strategies to address bias and discrimination, and create a culture of inclusiveness
CR-SE competencies and related standards for educators
Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2023). Equitable practices hub. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/equityandinclusion/EPH/Pages/default.aspx
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.(2023, May 3). PAsmart. https://www.pasmart.pa.gov/
Code.org, CSTA, & ECEP Alliance. (2022). 2022 state of computer science education: Understanding our national imperative. https://advocacy.code.org/stateofcs
Koshy, S., Twarek, B., Bashir, D., Glass, S., Goins, R., Cruz Novohatski, L., & Scott, A. (2022). Moving towards a vision of equitable computer science: Results of a landscape survey of PreK-12 CS teachers in the United States. https://landscape.csteachers.org
Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance. (2023). Alliance members. https://ecepalliance.org/alliance-members/#pennsylvania